We all know how the basic trajectory of a marriage proposal goes down: Man gets down on bended knee, woman throws her hands up in shock before she accepts, and so begins the couple's happily ever after. But it's 2017, and romantic norms are finally seeing some variation — it isn't uncommon for women to propose to men these days.
Of course, this isn't to say that heterosexual couples haven't been flouting tradition since people first started telling each other how to live their lives. In fact, there's even a cultural loophole set in place for that exact purpose. According to old European beliefs, February 29 is the one day of the year where women are encouraged to propose to their loved ones. Unfortunately, this date only takes place every four years, so it's not exactly convenient. However, some women don't need some arbitrary date chosen for them. They'll take matters into their own hands, thank you very much.
Even today, it's still not quite routine for women to flip the script and propose to male partners, but it's becoming more culturally acceptable. Presumably, this loosening of a previously rigid tradition is what led Reddit user q-uantum to ask, "Men who have been proposed to by their girlfriends, how did they do it? And how did you feel about it?"
The answers speak volumes about gender norms and cultural traditions; some men felt threatened by being put in a traditionally feminine role, while others didn't mind in the least. As a whole, it's fascinating stuff. Here are the highlights from the post, which you can read in its entirety on r/AskReddit.
1A Quick Recovery
The author of this post managed to turn an embarrassing moment into a sweet proposal? That is true talent — and her husband's bit of wisdom is something I'll treasure forever.
2The Practical Joke
Fabulously elaborate proposals are all well and good, but it's just as important to consider your partner's taste when planning the big moment. Besides, who doesn't love a practical joke worth telling years later?
3Stealing The Moment
That awkward moment when both partners get the urge to propose at the same time.
4Thinking On The Fly
This Redditor's story is proof that adaptability is key. Her plans for a romantic outdoor proposal may have been cancelled, but she still got the chance to put a ring on it.
5One Thousand Paper Cranes
I'm not crying, there's just a twig in my eye. (Be sure to read the comments below this one, because she posted a link to a lovely photo of the cranes.)
6A Fannish Proposal
Is it a little sinister to propose with the ring from Lord of the Rings? Yes, but it appears to have worked out so far.
7A Leap (Day) Of Faith
Remember that leap year tradition I mentioned earlier? Clearly, some people still follow it, with adorably romantic results.
8The Future Engagement
Tragically, the author of this comment hasn't posted anything about how the proposal went — or even if she ever got around to doing it.
9Headed To Vacation
Thank goodness he accepted her proposal, because that could have been a terribly awkward vacation afterward. Too bad he's embarrassed to admit she beat him to the punch.
10Garlands, Garlands Everywhere
This proposal definitely falls in the "team effort" category.
11The Cinematic Scavenger Hunt
It's appropriate because this scavenger hunt was movie-themed, because this sounds like a scene from a romantic comedy.
12The Book Of Memories
Between the proposal itself and the Redditor's dismissal of fragile masculinity, this is in the running for best comment. On the other hand, it clearly has some stiff competition.